Michigan Medicine renews restrictions; downtown street closures return; Regent Weiser’s fate

University of Michigan alum Ron Weiser is a former ambassador to Slovakia in President George W. Bush's administration. Credit: University of Michigan
University of Michigan alum Ron Weiser is a former ambassador to Slovakia in President George W. Bush's administration. Credit: University of Michigan

Happy Friday!

University of Michigan Regent and Michigan GOP chair Ron Weiser is under fire for comments he made at a recent party meeting. He referred to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel as “three witches.” When asked how the party should unseat the two GOP Reps. who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, he responded, “Other than assassination, I have no other way than voting them out.”

Weiser faced swift backlash from former Regents, state lawmakers, U-M lecturers and 21 of the school’s deans, who called on him to resign. U-M President Mark Schlissel, Provost Susan Collins and Board of Regents Chairwoman Denise Illitch condemned Weiser’s comments. In an apology issued on Saturday, Weiser said he pledges to “be part of a respectful political dialogue going forward.”

The Board of Regents will convene this morning for a special meeting at 9:30 a.m. to “address recent events.” You can tune into that meeting on the school’s website.

Have a great weekend.

- Meredith (@meredith_A4)

What’s been happening:

🏥 Michigan Medicine announced it will reintroduce visitor restrictions today due to the current surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state. (A4)

💉 Still hunting for a vaccine or stretching your fingers for when the state opens up to all adults 16 and over on Monday? The Washtenaw County Health Department just announced new times it will be adding appointments to its website each week. (A4)

💻 Speaking of getting an appointment, ClickOnDetroit’s Ken Haddad has started a live blog with real-time information on walk-in clinics and newly available time slots. Thank you, @KenHaddad. (ClickOnDetroit)

🛑 Ann Arbor Public Schools has paused all spring sports after more than 150 student-athletes were placed under quarantine or asked not to participate due to COVID cases and exposures. (MLive)

💔 A local 93-year-old woman was found dead last weekend in a wooded area after her family reported her missing. Family members said she suffered from dementia. (A4)

🚧 Ann Arbor resumed street closures yesterday to allow for more space for businesses and pedestrians during the warmer months. See which streets will be regularly closing as part of the Downtown Ann Arbor Pedestrian Mall. (A4)

🏀 A disappointing end shouldn’t take away from Michigan basketball’s memorable season, writes Derick Hutchinson. (A4)

🏙 With DTE Energy vacating its office building on S. Main, the company is now accepting offers on the property. (MLive)

🎓 Due to new health guidelines, seniors graduating from U-M this year will be able to watch their virtual commencement ceremony at the Big House. (A4)

🚳 Before you grab your bike or your jogging shoes: A section of the Gallup Park Loop Trail is closing this week for construction that will last through June. (A4)

Good to know:

📚 Literati Bookstore will host events this month with authors Neil Gaiman and Jenny Lawson. (A4)

🍂 It’s spring and that means compost season. Weekly pick up begins on Monday. (A4)

🌯 Get this -- a new Chipotlane drive thru has opened on Stadium for those craving Chipotle’s burritos, tacos and salads. (MLive)

🌳 Ann Arbor was named among the top charming small U.S. cities. But we don’t need a travel magazine to tell us that. (A4)

Feature interview of the week:

“You get caught up in the circus, in the spectacle, just like council members do. With this podcast, we are saying, ‘Let’s take a step back and look at the issues and discuss them in a more sober way.’”

- Michelle Hughes, co-host of the new “Ann Arbor AF” podcast (Concentrate)

🗨 Have something to share? Write me anytime at mbruckner@wdiv.com.

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About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.